The blurb on the dust-jacket of this novel teases that \"Vertigo … has been reprinted seven times in the original Arabic and translated into Italian\". It\'s a promising sell to Ahmed Mourad\'s debut novel and the book emerges as a steamy mix of political intrigue and shady dealings, with a slice of societal observation on the moral decline of contempary Cairo. Ahmed Kamal is the unfortunate protagonist thrust into the eye of the storm. After witnessing and inadvertently recording a friend\'s brutal death in the crossfire of an assassination, his life takes a downward detour into the city\'s murky underworld. Ahmed, it transpires, is made of sturdier stuff than initially appears and he goes on to tackle his high-society adversaries with a competence that could put a smile on the face of Dumas\'s Count of Monte Cristo. Is Vertigo a work of groundbreaking proportions? Not quite. But what it does deliver is the usual thrills and spills worthy of a good pulp-fiction romp. If filthy-rich no-gooders getting what they deserve is what you want to read, then you get that here with aplomb.